Friday, October 29, 2010

Photo Cards - or why I don't do Christmas newsletters

I don't do Christmas newsletters. I know, they are a way to catch everyone up on your family. But they just get so long. Some people do them by person. Some do them chronologically.

I'd prefer to let the pictures do the talking. If you want details, read the blogs, right?

So, here are my top choices for picture Christmas cards from Shutterfly. I've been a customer of theirs for years and they have always exceeded my expectations. This year, the cards to choose from are all so darn cute. What's really super is the chance to put more than just one or two photos on a card. We had some fantabulous pictures taken in September and I would love to use the individual ones of everyone on one of these cards. You can find th photo cards here.
This one is my all-time favorite, mostly because I can include so many photos. I don't like having to decide.

I really liked this one because I can just give you all a picture of my Christmas (year-round, really) blessings. But you want to see me, don't you? Nah. I look the same as I always do. It's my four little ones that change so quickly.

Love the blue. Really love it. We look good in blue.
Or dark blue. We look good in dark blue too.
Christmas cards aren't the only thing you can get. I'm ready to throw a party, and these invites just might make me do it.

We're starting our annual donut fry this year. Aaron's been wanting one ever since we attended the donut fries hosted by the Stites family in Kennewick. Well, he's strong-armed me into this year. Get this. We're having it on Bill of Rights day - anyone who knows Aaron will laugh and say that is so appropriate. This polka dot card is so me and would work perfectly.

Why don't we do tree-trimming parties anymore? Who do you invite to a tree-trimming party? Who cares? It's a party. It's for fun. Just another chance to get together. I want my holidays to be more about the people and less about the gifts. Maybe that's why there used to be so many get-togethers.
Really love this invite. Maybe for a cookie exchange? Or a Elf-fest (I'm seriously contemplating this one so I can get all my Christmas sewing done on time!).
And for those family members who have everything and you want to give them something truly personal, why not one of these? I chose my two favorite desk calendars for you.

So head on over to Shutterfly. Once I get my photo CD, I'm placing my order. Look for one in the mail! And if you want a card (or invite!) from me, send me your address!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I need a giveaway

I've decided I need to do a giveaway. In honor of something.

But what?

Birthday week at my house next week? As in, three birthdays in four days? Nah, I'm already too busy!

Halloween? No, too soon!

Veteran's day? Actually, not a bad idea. My veteran is giving me the day to do some sewing. I think that would be a great day to host a giveaway. Now, for something fun to giveaway. I like winning supplies. Some people like finished things.

Share your thoughts!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Do Tuesday

Or why I love deadlines.

Trunk-or-treat is Saturday at 5. A certain little blondy-blue must be in costume by 4:45.

I have a deadline. I have the fabric cut out. I have read the instructions. I know what I'm doing. If I didn't have to sleep, I'd get a lot more done.

Finished product pictures forthcoming. By Saturday night!

Happy Halloween sewing!

Then I can get back to "me" sewing! Until I remember my Christmas deadline....

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weekend Recap

Did I get all my homework done? You bet your sewing machine I did! When a girl's got some serious motivation, anything is possible.

I didn't work on what I'd planned. More on that later. Here's what I got done:

These adorable pinwheels - I've had this strawberry print forever. Actually, I made an apron out of it a couple years ago. I had a dozen 5" squares of it just sitting around. I got the Dream On green stripe, the Essential Dots bubblegum pink and this cute red check a couple weeks ago. Well, it just all came together. 12 blocks later, I'm in love. I'm going to add another white border to each block and then I'm going to do a scrappy bit of sashing between them.

A close up of the red pinwheel:

A close-up of the pink pinwheel:

A close-up of the green pinwheel:

Now, as to my original plan. I did get a whole six rows done on my chimneys and cornerstones. One small problem. I did not calculate correctly. I might have enough for 12 rows total, but it's not really what I envisioned. Or I could chop the six rows I have in half and make two baby quilts. What I will do with two girly baby quilts I don't know. But it's something. Thoughts? This is what the baby quilt would look like:

Finally, I was tooling around on flickr (it's a bigger problem for me than facebook these days). I found this picture and decided to figure out my own version. I'll be using the reds/pinks and greens from my Sparkle All the Way layer cake. I'm quite excited about this one. I got all the squares cut. It goes into the futures pile.

So it was a rocking productive weekend. I think a lot had to do with sending Aaron to the gun show on Saturday. Shh. He thought it was for him, but it was really for me. If I get him out of the house, I don't feel required to entertain him or find things for him to do. I always feel guilty about having projects I can do with the kids around. He gets a little stir crazy and I feel bad for him. All his hobbies (guns, motorcycles, models) are not child friendly. Not that I'd let my kids loose with the rotary cutter and we've already seen how many pins James can get inside my machine, but my hobbies aren't inherently dangerous.

So off he went to the gun show and I cranked out a stack o' quilt blocks. If I could have someone around to just iron pieces for me, I'd get so much more sewing done.

And now, I MUST get Laurel's costume done. It's all cut out. I think I'll be spending my afternoons getting it together.

Happy sewing!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Reward Time

If I'm very good and focused, and get this done:

This, being a paper on Heart of Darkness, writing a poem, analyzing another poem, and writing yet another paper on yet another poem. If I'm really good and get that all done by tomorrow afternoon (well, the paper on HOD has to be done), then I get to play with this:

My Holiday Hostess quilt top

My Chimneys and Cornerstones quilt top - of which two, count 'em, two rows are already done! Hooray. I'd like to get this one done this weekend. But there is that Halloween costume to worry about as well. Not to worry. The Siamese kitty will be ready before next Saturday at 4:45 p.m.

Watcha think? Can she stay motivated? With rewards like this, I'm pretty sure I can.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Me Time

Two blog posts in one day? Unheard of. But I'm feeling grateful, so I thought I'd share.

Tonight was about me. And it's never about me.

I got to attend an activity at church, a "service auction" where we bid on goods/services that were donated by the other women. No money - just points earned by filling out a questionnaire - things like "did you wash and fold a load of laundry today" and "2 points for every diaper you changed today" - stuff like that. Super fun.

I donated a custom apron for one lucky winner and a family donut fry for another. In the process, I made a new sewing buddy. And I get to make donuts for the young women in our ward, which will be so much fun.

So, I have a sewing buddy and I get $75 worth of flowers, my choice of color. I blew all 102 points on a bouquet of flowers and I couldn't be more excited.


So life is good again. But boy am I tired. Henry had me up at 2:30 and I couldn't fall back to sleep when he finally did go back to sleep at 4. So I read for a while and then thought "Why am I not sewing?" so I whipped out the sewing machine and sewed together some triangles and then cranked out two rows of my chimneys and cornerstones quilt. Hooray for me!

But no more quilt sewing until that cat costume is done! I've got it almost all cut out (hey, it takes up the whole table - you know how often my table is completely cleared off?) and will work on it this weekend.

To Do Tuesday

Must make a decision. That's what I need to do!

I still have red/aqua fabric. Seriously. I have made the barn raising quilt, the matchbox quilt, the dutch pinwheel quilt and I have one more in the works using HSTs called chimneys and cornerstones. So, the decision is between this one, called flying kite pinwheel:

And this inspiration, which would be a departure for me, in a good way. I've been loving this Dresden plate, blogged here, for quite a while now. I'm a little nervous about applique, but I think it could be super cute and such fun.
I know it sounds like I've already made up my mind, but I haven't. I love that little pinwheel a lot too. Pinwheels make me happy. but that Dresden makes me happy too.

I just refuse to buy more red/aqua fabric. I think I've had enough!

That's all for me today. I've got the service auction at church tonight, a paper to finish, another paper to finish by 11 p.m., oh, and my awesome family to take care of.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To Do Tuesday

What with poetry writing (ugh!), essays on Joseph Conrad and food writing, there's not much time left for sewing. But then there will always be time for sewing. Especially with Halloween coming up. We bought James' costume - he'll be Dash from The Incredibles and I can't wait. William will be a shark - Aaron is taking on that one. I picked up a monkey costume for Mr. Henry. All that's left is my girl. She has to be a cat this year. Not just any kind. A Siamese to match her stuffed animal Molasses. So, we got this here pattern:

And a whole lot of fleece in tan and brown. I'll cut it out this weekend and maybe even get some of the sewing done. Finish it next weekend.

And I can cut it out, thanks to these babies arriving yesterday. You should hear that gorgeous snap they make. It's like music!
I prepped a few projects on Sunday in an attempt to wind down and not think about schoolwork. I finally cut the fabric for my Holiday Hostess quilt - see this post for a pic of the fabric. I've changed my mind on a few things, but I think it's going to be lovely and fun.

I also prepped another pinwheel project using the last of one of my favorite fabrics. I only had 12 5" squares left, so it was a challenge coming up with something. But I got it figured out and it's gonna be cute!

Happy sewing. My reward for getting my paper done early is quality time with my sewing machine. Let's see if I make it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

In the Doghouse

Not me. No sir. I'm not in trouble. No, that would be my beloved.

When I was a kid, my mom kept a lock on her sewing scissors. She knew we would grab them to cut any number of things, mostly paper.

Once again, I should have followed her example.

Aaron needed a pair of scissors the other day. Now, he could have asked me to find him some (we've actually got a big ol' box in the art cabinet with at least three pair). But no, he just used the first pair he could find.

Ahem. My sewing scissors.

Was he cutting fabric? Nope. Was he cutting paper? Nope. Was he cutting tape? No again.

What did he cut?


Do you know what fiberglass will do to a pair of scissors?

If I wanted to cut in wavy lines for the rest of my life, he'd have done me a favor. And the scissor sharpening people won't be close by until mid-November. Me no like.

So, in the end, he did do me a favor. I got to order a pair of Ginghers and they'll be here on Tuesday. So life isn't so bad. I just couldn't cut out a certain Halloween costume this weekend like I'd planned. Sigh. Friday. I'll get to it Friday.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Favorite Quilt Shop

Meet my favorite online quilt shop, the Fat Quarter Shop. I have been receiving fabulous packages from them for a few years now. The shopping experience is wonderful, the website is searchable (by color, very helpful!), the pictures are excellent and the prices are comparable to other quilt shops.

I just had a bit of a hiccup regarding an order I had received. The fault was mine - I was a bit confused about what I was ordering. I wanted a bolt of white Bella solids. I somehow got ivory. I e-mailed Kimberly at the Fat Quarter Shop. She quickly resolved the problem, shipped out a new bolt and had UPS pick up the mistake. No hassle, no fuss. What a great company. I'm finding that so many places go out of their way to blame you and make sure you know you made a mistake. Not so, and I will always appreciate it.

On my wish list, a few fat quarter bundles:

All coming soon and I'm on the e-mail notification list for them - another great feature.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To Do Tuesday

I've got a lot of crafting to do these days. I thought making a To Do Tuesday blog every week would keep me accountable. In no particular order:

I want one more aqua/red quilt. Okay, probably two more, given how much fabric I have! I've been in love with this pinwheel block for quite some time and I finally found a tutorial for it (I'm a bit rusty on my geometry and didn't want to have to figure it out myself). So now I just have to prep the fabric and it's ready to sew.Our ward has what they call a service auction every year. The sisters bring either tangibles (cookies, crafts) or service coupons (free babysitting mostly) and they are auctioned off. Not with money, but with points. It's kind of complicated but pretty fun. Sometimes entire tables go in together to get something big (dinner at the bishop's house, a chocolate party).
Well, I'd thought about offering a birthday cake to the winning bidder. But that get's complicated because I don't do kids cakes, the super duper decorated ones. I just do good tasting cakes is all. So Ididn't want any confusion or disappointment. Instead, I'm making an apron. Out of this fabric. It's the Emmeline apron from Sew Liberated and I've made several and loved them all.
Laurel's new doll will need a new little blanket for her bed. I got the minky fat quarters on sale a while back. This should whip up pretty easy.
For Christmas, Kit, are soon to be latest addition, will have quite a wardrobe. The doll clothes on the AG website are a mite too spendy for me. I got Laurel a few specialized outfits (raincoat and boots, cowgirl outfit including hat) but for the regular clothes, I'm sewing them. I found these patterns here, and I just love them. So I've got these all cut out and ready to sew.

My awesome friend found these here and I'm making entire families of them for my kids for Christmas. I know Laurel will play with hers, and the boys will as well. They are just too cute, especially the ones with the ric rac. I might make some for our nursery as well. We have three in our ward and the one with the youngest kids has very few toys. These could be fun for them.
William is very much into sharks these days. He has the Webkinz shark and it goes everywhere with us. I thought it was time to make him some new pillowcases, so I got a couple yards of this fabric. The fun thing about my Will is that I know he'll be very excited to get them for Christmas. He's not the sort of kid (yet) to go "Pillowcases? How lame." I love that about him.
I made the girl versions of these, found on the same site as the dinosaurs, for Laurel last year for Christmas. Ever since, William has been asking me for a boy doll. I'm happy to oblige. I'll make a blondy-blue for James and a brown haired, hazel eyed for Will. I think it's sweet that they've asked for them. They just want to play with their sister and have their own doll to attend tea parties, etc. William sleeps with a Bob the Builder doll he won at the fair a few years back. I think if one of these dolls is wearing Thomas jammies or John Deere clothes, he'll be in heaven!
And what gets me through all this crafting? The Trader Joe's candy aisle.
Dark Chocolate Covered Caramels:

S'mashing S'mores
Lovely little boxes that keep me happy.

Happy crafting!

p.s. One more quilt is germinating in my brain. I'm really excited about how this will turn out. More on it later. I want to complete a few blocks before I decide to really go for it. Should be fun!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Red and Aqua Dutch Pinwheel finished!

Here she is - isn't she fun? I absolutely loved these blocks. They were fun to put together and I love looking at them.

I got the idea for the baby pinwheels as part of the sashing from this blog. I need a clothesline set up so I can take cuter pictures. The grass shots are just not working for me. That, and it's overcast. But I'll just be happy it's done and I can cross it off the list.

Next? I can't make any more quilts, though I really want to and know I will. Need to get some Christmas sewing done first. Then I sew on another quilt top.

And I really need to see about taking a machine quilting class soon. I'd like to snuggle up with these beauties soon!
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